Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear power and space exploration – theme for November 2017

Coinciding with the severe downturn in the nuclear industry, is the rush of enthusiasm for space exploration – and the goal of “putting  a man on Mars”.  The nuclear industry must be pleased, as the fuel for space rockets is their own product – PLUTONIUM!  (Space travel might save their industry?)

Plutonium is the most toxic of all the radioactive products of nuclear fission, as well as being the fuel for nuclear weapons. There have already been accidents with space rockets. The effects of a space craft crash on an Earth city are almost unimaginable, and certainly never properly considered by the space technocrats and nuclear enthusiasts. To them, this is an “acceptable risk”.

Then there’s the doom-laden future for astronauts to Mars. Quite simply, cosmic radiation would kill them. Even now, astronauts suffer extraordinary health ill effects, as related by Scott Kelly, in his new book “Endurance” .  Not all these effects are caused by radiation – and this issue merges into the troubling ethical problems of sending people to Mars, or even, into space.

We are constantly being told of the benefits to come, in space travel. What benefits? Are they greater than the huge environmental and personal risks? And the financial costs – paid for by the tax-payer? That money could go to meet real human needs. There’s something wrong with our priorities when we mindlessly accept enthusiasm for technology, innovation etc – as better than healing the health of this planet, and its populations.

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November 11, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Nuclear power and Space exploration – dangerous twins – Australia : theme for November 2017

Yes, it’s all excitement and enthusiasm in Australia! Wow! We’re getting a Space Agency! And the very brilliant and appealing Professor Brian Cox is to tour Australia! Dare anyone throw cold water on all this joy?

Let’s start with the big problem. PLUTONIUM. While some rockets have been solar-powered, the current popular fuel is plutonium. The much-touted Cassini spacecraft, that recently plunged into the Planet Saturn, was powered by plutonium.

Plutonium space operations are a huge danger to the world.  Plutonium has long been accepted as the most lethal radioactive substance.There’s the danger of spacecraft crashing back to Earth, with resultant highly radioactive pollution affecting humans and all species. There’s the danger involved even on Earth. in the making of the plutonium-fuelled spacecraft.

The need for plutonium for fuel also necessitates nuclear reactors, the only way to get plutonium. Of course, the nuclear lobby is salivating at this potential rescue of it’s dying industry.

And Prof Brian Cox – a brilliant particle physicist and TV science rockstar? Yes. But he is also a very suave pro nuclear propagandist.

The current Australian mania for space exploration presents some other problems, which get no mention in the media. THE HUMAN PROBLEM  First of all – the overwhelming danger of radiation, which makes human travel to Mars impossible.

There are other very obvious ethical problems, in the plans to send people on  a one way trip to Mars.

And economic questions. just what are the greatly touted benefits of space exploration?

Australia is once again about to pour tax-payers money into a questionable science project, oblivious to its intimate connection to the very dangerous nuclear industry.

October 21, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Nuclear LIES – theme for October 2017

The nuclear industry’s history of lies goes right back to its beginnings in the early 1940s.

I would say the that lying is the worst thing about the nuclear industry – and that’s saying plenty!

Of the current lies –  it’s hard to pick which lie matters most.

Lately the nuclear lobby is touting the lie that “new nuclear” is essential for peace and nuclear non proliferation.  That’s a beauty, isn’t it?

The truth is that the nuclear weapons industry needs the “peaceful” new nuclear industry – in which to grow its expertise for the nuclear killing factories – the $trillion dollars nuclear weapons makers.   (Which is why governments are lending an ear to the otherwise completely futile “Generation IV”  nuclear reactor lobbyists)

October 10, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Weapons of mass destruction banned – nuclear soon to join the ban – theme for Sept 17

You might think that it’s naive to be talking about banning nuclear weapons, in this present climate of international tension. Yes, an international agreement to ban them is not going to get rid of nuclear weapons overnight, or indeed, anytime soon.

BUT – as things stand now, nuclear weapons, held by all the so virtuous States –  USA, Britain, France, India, China Pakistan, Israel, (- and now North Korea)  – are accepted as respectable ,  defensive, necessary. 

The idea of the world recognising weapons of mass destruction as unacceptable is not new.  It’s been done before.

Human beings, after all, are social animals, and their greatest successes have been achieved by co-operation. Years of co-operative effort by intelligent and thoughtful people have shed light on the humanitarian horror of mass killings, and mass sufferings of those who survived such attacks.

Under the auspices of he United Nations, the concerted efforts of so many have brought about  the recognition that mass murder is unacceptable, and has been judged to be illegal.  No, these threats have not been completely eliminated. But they have been vastly diminished, and no leader can get away with pronouncing them to be acceptable or necessary.

The United Nations Ban on  the use of chemical and biological weapons in warfare was signed in 1925, and  strengthened in 1997 in the  the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) 

The United Nations Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) came into force in 1975.

In both cases, these agreements outlawed  the development, stockpiling, acquisition, retention, and production of these inhumane weapons, and reaffirmed the 1925 ban on their use.

These bans, agreed on by 178 nations  (the BWC), 192 (the CWC) have been further developed over many years of successive conventions, the most recent being in November 2016.

There’s  a wealth of information on the effects of nuclear weapons production and use – not just the immediate effects on victim communities, but the pervasive global effect on climate, agriculture and teh world’ s food supply.

Right now, we all live under a terrible threat of nuclear war. It is surely time to make a start on removing that threat. The United Nations Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty is that start.

September 23, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

NUCLEAR LIES: AUSTRALIA – theme for October 2017

Australia is a particular target of nuclear industry lies.

Unfortunately, both major political parties, and the dominant Murdoch media buy into these lies. Some politicians and journalists actually believe them.

The global industry continues its 70 year campaign of lies. But Australia gets its own very specialised lies, spread by the government, via the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) .  ANSTO is a law unto itself, working primarily to promote the nuclear industry. The Murdoch media obliges by promoting also the lies of nuclear shills, like Michael Shellenberger,  imported from America.

September 17, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes, secrets and lies | 1 Comment

Australia should join Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty – theme for September 17

 

 

Australia can show the leadership that it once had, in the movement towards a sane and peaceful world.

Our opportunity comes this month. The legally binding Treaty on the Prohibition of nuclear weapons. will open for signature and ratification on September 20th at the United Nations. It will come into effect if at least 50 nations sign and ratify it.

Australia was not among the 122 nations who signed up for this United Nations treaty, in July 17. Indeed, under the craven rule of Turnbull’s cowardly coalition, – we even tried to sabotage the treaty!

Time to stop Australia’s mindless sucking up to America – especially now, as USA is in the grip of a dangerous sociopathic President.

Time to join our brave little neighbour, New Zealand who has had the guts to stand up to the global nuclear weapons industry and say “NO”

August 30, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

What is to be done about Climate Change? – theme for August 17

Frogs are smarter than we are?  We insult frogs when we say that they would stay in  a pot of water, to die,  as it was slowly heated to boiling point. Dr. Victor Hutchison, at the University of Oklahoma, dispelled that myth when he studied frogs’ reaction to temperature changes in water. He followed the procedure outlined for a proper frog-boiling; put a frog in cold water, and gradually warmed the water up. (He stopped well before the boiling point.) The frogs most definitely did jump out when the water got too warm for them.

So – the message to human society surely should be –  act like a frog – and don’t let global warming keep on creeping up on us!

Current approaches to the  climate change crisis:

  • Some climate scientists now warn that it is probably too late.  predicts The Unibhabitable Earth
  • Some advocate geoengineering solutions.
  • Climate scientists are in agreement that actions must be taken to adapt to climate change.
  • Drastic reduction in greenhouse gases is necessary, whatever other actions are taken.

Al Gore’s controversial new film carries a powerful message of hope.I hope that he’ s right.

Meanwhile the tragic main point of climate change is that it is affecting those who least deserve this. Rural populations in India, China and Africa , who have contributed very little to the cause of climate change are already afflicted with unusual heat, and drought. Pacific islanders, and South Asian coastal communities are already experiencing sea surges, as sea levels rise.

The challenge for this 21st century is surely for environmental justice – for meeting the plight of environmental refugees with help and compassion,  rather than with barriers and conflict.

The image below is by courtesy of the artist  Ricardo Levins Morales www.RLMArtStudio.com

August 27, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Climate change- the global emergency – theme for August 17 (nuclear is irrelevant)

Climate change may now be irreversible, and is certainly at an urgent stage. While this website is dedicated to opposing the nuclear threat, we can’t ignore the reality of its twin peril – global warming.

The scientific consensus is that the Earth’s climate system is unequivocally warming, and that it is extremely likely (meaning 95% probability or higher) that this warming is predominantly caused by humans. It is likely that this mainly arises from increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as from deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels (Wikipedia)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that warming of the climate system is ‘unequivocal’ with changes unprecedented over decades to millennia, including warming of the atmosphere and oceans, loss of snow and ice, and sea level rise.

Right now, climate experts are stressing the urgency of the situation, but offering differing ideas on what action to take. Dr Clive Hamilton, in his new book new book titled “Defiant Earth – the fate of humans in the Anthropocene.” says we will go well beyond the danger point of 2 degrees C. of warming, at least to 3 or 4 degrees. He advises that human society must adapt, and try to avoid the very worst. He warns us to avoid grandiose technological solutions.

Climate scientists agree on the need to drastically cut greenhouse has emissions, but some say that more action is needed. Paul Beckwith wants an international collaboration on further projects, to slow the warming rate – Removing excess CO2 from the atmosphere, Cooling the Arctic and saving the sea ice, Preventing Greenland Ice Sheet disintegration, Suppressing methane.

Of course, the nuclear lobby keeps promising extremely expensive solutions for the very distant future. However, nuclear reactors, of whatever type, would be far too late, even if they did combat climate change, (which they don’t).  Nuclear power is irrelevant to climate change, – except for taking resources away and thus slowing up effective measures, such as energy efficiency and renewable energy.

August 7, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australia: Climate change (to which nuclear power is irrelevant) – theme for August 2017

Of course the Great Barrier Reef is important, to Australia, and globally. It is a World Heritage site, and a unique and wonderful ecosystem.  It’s just that I get a bit sick of everyone talking about its economic value –  as though business is the only thing that matters to Australians.

Even more, I question the emphasis on the GBR, in context where nobody seems to be talking about the appalling impacts of climate change that are already happening, and will increase,  in African and Asian nations.

Climate change is a global tragedy, for humans and other species. We are now in an era, (the Anthropocene) in which global action is imperative – quite the wrong time to put up the barriers, and say “our nation first”

Even if we do think “Australia first” – we’d better realise that WE might need some international help, as Australia is predicted to be hit particularly hard by climate change.  Some of these impacts: increasing heat waves, some regions drier, bushfires, changed and damaged ecosystems, sea level rise, increased severity of floods. All this has effects on agriculture, infrastructure, human health, and society, with the most disadvantaged communities suffering the most.

The effects of climate change elsewhere will impact Australia – sea level rise, especially affecting Pacific islands, environmental refugees, food shortages, environmental disasters, social instability, and increasing need for humanitarian aid.  Australia is an island, yes, but can no longer function as though the rest of the world doesn’t matter.

Climate change is THE ISSUE right now, although the nuclear issue remains critical tooespecially this month, when we remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The nuclear industry’s claims to fix climate change are farcical, and deserve to be ignored; the only relevance nuclear has is that its proponents are holding back REAL answers to global warming.

 

 

July 17, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, climate change - global warming | 1 Comment

Russia and the Global Nuclear Industry – theme for July 17

It’s high time that the global nuclear-free movement turned the spotlight on RUSSIA.  THIS website, being anglophone, is continually criticising America. But it’ s not just the language problem that makes us neglect to scrutinise Russia: it is also the secrecy, media censorship, and persecution of dissidents that help Russia to avoid scrutiny.

Russia’s quite scandalous nuclear history, past and ongoing, deserves to be exposed. There are 4 main issues here:

1.Russia’s history of nuclear accidents

2. Russia’s scandalous mismanagement of its radioactive trash

3. Russia’s secrecy and cover-up of its serious nuclear problems.

Since 2007, when the Howard government signed up to a nuclear development agreement with Russia, the Australian nuclear lobby has been quietly working to develop nuclear power in co-operation with Russia. This continues today, both with an Australian presentation in Moscow’s AtomExpo, and in Australia about to join the Gen IV nuclear Framework, along with Russia.

July 9, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment

Nuclear Marketing – Australia’s role- theme for July 17

What is Australia’s role in the continuing, desperate, global marketing by the nuclear industry?

The global nuclear marketing campaign suffered a serious blow when South Australia definitively rejected the plan to import radioactive trash.  That plan had been essential to setting up nuclear power in South East Asian countries, as it promised to solve their nuclear waste problem.

Today, as the Western world’s nuclear industry collapses, there is new urgency to market nukes internationally. China and Russia (with their State-owned industries) now lead the charge – the campaign to sell the “old” big reactors, and the new (as yet non-existent) big and small ones.

New “start up” companies in America now join with other nations to market the new futuristic nuclear gimmicks. It becomes a global co-operation with Russia and China in the lead.

Australia’s nuclear zealots join in.  Enthusiastic propagandists like Ben Heard join in Moscow’s AtomPro advertising extravaganza.

More seriously the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)  renews its tax-payer funded promotions. Defence hawks and various nuclear industry shills back the new push for Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) .  The Australian government is about to rubber-stamp ANSTO’s plan for Australia to take part in developing Generation IV nuclear reactors, (ANSTO boss Dr Adi Paterson having pre-empted Parliament by already signing Australia up to GenIV International Forum)

Australia is unwilling to even attend UN international meetings to discuss a nuclear weapons ban treaty . Australia pays lip service only to the international Paris climate change accord.

Yet Australia is happy to follow Russia in a new global nuclear marketing push?

Almost certainly so – because Australia has quite a recent history in promoting nuclear power in co-operation with Russia. In 2007 the then Howard Liberal government invited Sergei Kiriyenko to Australia. On 7 September 2007, head of Rosatom Sergey Kiriyenko and Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer, in the presence of Prime Minister John Howard and President Putin, signed the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in the Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes

Currently, the Australian nuclear lobby works quietly with Russia, sending nuclear propagandist Ben Heard to Russia to join in Their AtomExpo  global promotion of the industry.

 

 

June 22, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes, marketing for nuclear | 1 Comment

Endless energy use- the nuclear dream – theme for June 17

The nuclear lobby boasts about meeting the planet’s ever-growing need for electricity. “Innovation” is the catch phrase – supposed to be always beneficial. Well, yes, – much innovative technology is beneficial: much of it takes over arduous and monotonous work, much of it increases safety, much of it actually reduces energy use.

But not all new technology is actually beneficial, and some of it increases energy use.

Take, for example, the use of robots .  Power is used in the mining and manufacture of materials (steel, cast ironand aluminum) to make robots.  Electricity is needed for their function, for maintenance and repair. Eventually robots become wastes, like all obsolete machines, energy again used in discarding them..

Leaving aside that major argument about jobs, let’s examine, as an example,  the use of robots in health and social care. Already used in Japan, and Europe, robots provide some nursing services and  “elderly social care” that assists old people at home or in nursing homes.   Some robots, such as Japan’s “Nadine” (below) have been made “personal”. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

BUT – I assert here, (yes, you’re right- I don’t have any evidence) that old people, (like all people) need that human touch, that human interaction, and robots simply do not meet that need. And then, there’s the robot baby-sitter. Same thing.

So – these are examples of robots, with deeply unsatisfying results, using up electricity, that take away jobs that many workers find satisfying.

With society’s problems of increasing obesity and lack of exercise, there is surely a question about jobs, that humans do well and enjoy, and in which human energy is expended, but which are taken over by electricity-guzzling robots.

The new nukes lobby bleats about being part of an “innovation revolution”. But “innovation” is not in itself necessarily good –   not if it just means de-skilling people, increasing energy use, just in order to increase business profits.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry and the concept of ENOUGH – theme for June 2017

To the nuclear industry the concept of ENOUGH is anathema. If you saw their slick advertising film “Pandora’s Promise” you would note that their major theme is endless GROWTH that will perpetually require ENDLESS ENERGY.

The nuclear industry’s shills, and there are many of them, love to portray the anti-nuclear movement as wanting to send people back to living in a “dark ages” style.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Genuine environmentalists want all people to have a life of more light, of reasonable comfort and leisure time, of enough of the good things of this world, rather than of too much.

It’s time that governments, bankers, industry leaders woke up to the reality that the world economy is threatened by growth, threatened by the accelerating destruction of this planet’s  air, water, land, and biodiversity. The destroyer is the growing human population and its growing consumption of ever more unnecessary products and unnecessary energy use.

It’s time that people stepped away from endless individualistic  consumption, and towards a reasonable life of more cooperation, of working less hours. It’s time to move from our suicidal consumer culture, to a conserver culture.

 

June 2, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes | 2 Comments

Nuclear power and the Consumer Society – theme for June 2017

The American nuclear front group The Breakthrough Institute have been in South Australia, along with South Australia’s own favourite nuclear zealot, Ben Heard, and his own nuclear front group Bright New World.  They were touting  -the gospel of the need for endless, escalating use of electricity.  Their theme , – apart from putting across the myths of  “nuclear waste solution” “climate change solution”, “clean energy and “cheap energy” –  is the theme of how Australia can be a global moral leader in helping the under-developed nations, via New Nukes.

I think that’s the biggest flaw in their mythology – that the world needs to ever consume more :”goods” and more electricity –  presumably until human society decides to spread all that further – on Mars.

Endless economic growth,  endless producing of things, endless buying of things, endless energy use, endless creation of wastes – this is the way that we humans run our lives, and our planet.

But the planet can’t take it, and neither can we.

It seemed OK, when the Western world could exploit its own indigenous areas, and the “Third World” –    the mess made by digging things up, leaving wastes, throwing stuff away – all this could go into the land and waterways of remote “undeveloped” peoples.

consumer-world-nuke

But we’ve run out of “undeveloped” lands and peoples. Now it’s becoming the Asian, African, South American century. They’ve become the disciples of the Western religion of materialism – now also getting cars, big houses, wanting it all, wanting more stuff.

Where do we all put the poisonous end products of our “civilised” consumption?   Into the planet’s air, waterways, land and oceans.   As we poison our planet, we poison our own life support system.

There is an alternative lifestyle – an old-fashioned one – the CONSERVER SOCIETY. It is still practised by many indigenous peoples. We’d better learn from them – and fast!

May 25, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes | 1 Comment

The nuclear industry and politics international- theme for April 2017

The United Nations has just held the first of two global summits to negotiate “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.   Sponsored by 57 nations, and with 125 nations represented. But the nuclear weapons nations did not participate.

Does this mean that the conference is meaningless? Perhaps. Yet, increasingly, public opinion supports nuclear disarmament, and those governments are being challenged, to explain their support for nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, it is something of a turbulent time in international politics, with elections in European nations, with UK and “Brexit” , with North Korea a continuing nuclear weapons worry, and with the unpredictability of USA’s President Trump, and his belligerent attitude to China. In this political climate, the risk of nuclear war continues to grow.

The other side of the nuclear story – “the peaceful nuke” is looking unsustainable. Globally, it’s in decline. Even in the nuclear poster boy China, the industry is now slowing, perhaps stalling.

Yet the somewhat frenzied promotion of nuclear power goes on. Why? Perhaps because it is uneconomic in the home country, so it’s imperative to sell it off to other countries. Perhaps because non-nuclear countries in south Asia, the Middle East, Africa, covet nuclear weapons – and “peaceful” nuclear power is the first step towards nuclear weapons.

It really is time that civil society of every country prevailed, over the militaristic leaders of nations, who are beholden to the nuclear weapons industry. Intelligent military personnel know that there will be no winners in a nuclear war. And nuclear weapons are useless against the suicidal individual terrorists, who now frighten the world.

It is time that civil society rejected the dirty dangerous, (and super expensive) “peaceful” nuclear industry, including those billionaire zealots for geewhiz “new nukes”.  Global energies, talents and funds, are needed for truly beneficial technologies in energy efficiency and clean renewables.

April 9, 2017 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment